Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Infrastructure

Incident Code

Lib2011-108

Incident date

June 12, 2011

Location

الزنتان, Al Zintan, Jabal al Gharbi, Libya

Geolocation

31.996513, 12.003225 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Nine civilians were allegedly killed by Gaddafi forces artillery shelling of Zintan.

Al Jazeera noted at the time: “On his part, a spokesman for the rebels said on Monday that nine people were killed and more than forty others were wounded on Sunday when forces loyal to Gaddafi bombed the town of Zintan, held by the rebels, in the west of the country.”

17 Feb Revolution wrote: “Libyan opposition spokesman said on Monday that nine people were killed on Sunday when forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi bombed the opposition-held Zintan town with artillery and missiles.

‘Nine were killed because of the bombing… yesterday, and more than 40 others were wounded, the spokesman, Abdul Rahman, told Reuters by phone from Zintan. ‘It was the heaviest bombardment in several weeks.'”

Other sources reported the same death toll.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Funeral of victims allegedly killed in the incident

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Zintan (الزنتان) being struck, for which the generic coordinates are: 31.996513, 12.003225. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM017-B

Incident date

June 10, 2011

Location

زنجبار‎ , Zinjibar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.129059, 45.380422 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that “at least one top insurgent was killed in the US military-led strikes by unmanned aircraft”, which began in Zinjibar, on June 10, 2021. There were no reports of civilian harm.

While Reuters reported that airstrikes on Zinjibar stemmed from “state forces”, according to the editor of the Yemen Post, a strike on June 10th was the sixth by US drones since the May 5th attempt on Anwar al Awlaki.

Hakim Almasmari told The Bureau of Investigative Journalism that a Yemeni Ministry of Defence official had confirmed to him that 13 air force strikes claimed by the Yemeni government in the past month were actually the work of US drones: “Our aircraft fleet is very limited. Given that, and the targets being struck, and what the eye witnesses see, we have to believe what our sources on the ground are telling us.”

As the February uprising against President Saleh generated chaos in Yemen, the US appeared to be bolstering its attacks on militants. However it became increasingly difficult to disentangle reports of “drone strikes” from US or Yemeni air strikes, or other forms of combat.

CNN reported that, throughout Zinjibar, “heavy gunfire and explosions were heard… and planes were seen flying overhead and conducting airstrikes”, the fighting resulting in the deaths of at least “twenty-one al Qaeda members and 10 Yemeni soldiers’” between June 10th and 11th 2011.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Airstrike and/or Artillery, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Zinjibar (زنجبار‎), Abyan province, for which the coordinates are: 13.129059, 45.380422. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Airstrike and/or Artillery, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-107

Incident date

June 9, 2011

Location

مصراتة, Misurata port, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.365000, 15.218611 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, including a child, were allegedly killed by Gaddafi forces shelling of Misurata.

Shahab Al Nahda said: “Mortar shelling from the western side of the port resulted in the death of 2 civilians, including a child.”

There is currently no further known public information regarding this event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Other, Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the port in Misrata (مصراتة) being struck, for which the generic coordinates are: 32.365000, 15.218611. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Gaddafi Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Other, Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-106

Incident date

June 7, 2011

Location

باب العزيزية‎ , Bab Al Aziziya, Tripoli, Libya

Airwars assessment

At least 29 civilians were killed by NATO airstrikes on Tripoli, according to the Gaddafi regime.

Al Jazeera noted at the time: “Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said that at least 29 people were killed in 60 air strikes targeting the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Tuesday evening, while Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi pledged in an audio speech today to fight to the death.”

The BBC also quoted the spokesperson. Other sources only mentioned heavy bombardment.

The Sirte Martyrs condolence page later named one victim.

NATO itself declared the following airstrikes on June 7th: “In Tripoli: 5 Command & Control Facilities, 1 Vehicle Storage Facility, 2 Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Guns, 1 Air Surveillance Radar. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Facility.” And Air Cdre Ian Wood said the British RAF had taken part in the strikes on Tripoli on that day.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 29
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the alleged victims
  • Video showing the damage of the attack

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes on the Bab Al Aziziya compound (باب العزيزية‎) in the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.871944, 13.172222. Structural damage can be seen from the satellite imagery, however we are unable to confirm if all damage occurred from the same event.

  • Reports of the incident mention a series of strikes hitting the Bab Al Aziziya compound (باب العزيزية‎) in the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎). Structural damage can be seen from the satellite imagery, however we are unable to confirm if all damage occurred from the same event. Left is an image from 7th Mar 2011, and right from 26th Jul 2011.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Gaddafi Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Gaddafi Forces

07 JUNE: In Tripoli: 5 Command & Control Facilities, 1 Vehicle Storage Facility, 2 Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Guns, 1 Air Surveillance Radar. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Facility.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 29
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-105

Incident date

June 6, 2011

Location

الخمس‎, Khoms, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On June 6th, 2011, 18 detainees were reported dead as a result of suffocation in poorly ventilated containers as they were being held by Gaddafi forces.

A UN report from 2011 reported the casualties, stating “On 6 June 2011, 18 detainees died in Al Khums from suffocation due to being held by Qadhafi forces in poorly ventilated metal containers in rising temperatures. Seventeen died in side the containers while 1 died later in hospital. The Commission was able to corroborate much of the testimony of survivors through physical evidence at the site. The Commission also interviewed one of the guards present at the time.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Khoms (الخمس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.64861, 14.26191. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-104

Incident date

June 5, 2011

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One child was possibly injured in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

A video report uploaded by Adam Nafusa says that the government had claimed the child was injured by an airstrike, while a hospital worker insisted they had been injured in a car accident.

Reuters also said it had learned from a hospital staff member that the child was injured in an accident.

NATO itself and other sources only reported airstrikes on Tripoli but no civilian harm.

Throughout the whole 2011 NATO intervention some independent monitors assessed that the Gaddafi regime had routinely fabricated civilian harm allegations.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the supposed victim

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Facility. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Command & Control Facilities, 1 Surface-To-Air Missile Storage Facility, 1 Ground Forces Compound, 1 Air Defence Forces Compound, 4 Surface-To-Air Missile Launchers, 1 Radar.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-103

Incident date

June 4, 2011

Location

نالوت‎, Nalut, Libya

Geolocation

31.873316, 10.976744 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between 10 and 14 civilians were reportedly injured by Gaddafi forces artillery shelling on Nalut.

Libya Women tweeted: “The Gaddafi Brigades carried out rocket and mortar bombardments on the town of Nalut and the number of wounded was 10.”

Later it published another post saying the number of wounded had risen to 14. Other sources posted similar numbers.

17 Feb 2011 uploaded a video to Youtube showing victims, with some of them in military style uniforms.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other
  • Belligerents reported injured
    5–7

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the alleged victims

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Nalut (نالوت‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.873316, 10.976744. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Gaddafi Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other
  • Belligerents reported injured
    5–7

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM016-C

Incident date

June 3, 2011

Location

زنجبار‎, Zinjibar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.129059, 45.380422 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A US drone strike in the city of Zinjibar reportedly killed four civilians in addition to up to eight members of Al Qaeda, according to local sources, on June 3, 2011.

The New York Times reported that a US airstrike in the city of Zinjibar killed Abu Ali al Harithi, a “veteran of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq currently serving as a commander in the al Qaeda affiliated Aden Abyan Islamic Army,” and a number of other militants as well as four civilians, according to witnesses. This was the only report of civilian harm.

According to Almotamar, Abu Ali al-Harithi  was killed alongside “seven other elements [meaning AQAP].”

The New York Times reported that a jet carried out the strike. However, anonymous US officials told ABC News a US military drone ultimately fired the lethal missile but that US jets were nearby but did not release weapons.

However, an AQAP fighter named Abu al Harithi was also claimed to be killed in the first ever US drone strike on Yemen, November 3 2002 (USYEM001-B), as noted by Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen.

Nevertheless, AQAP later confirmed through Inspire magazine the deaths of al-Harithi, Ammar Abadah Nasser al Waeli, a ‘veteran’ of Afghanistan, and Abu Jafar al Adeni, stating that Wa’eli was killed “with his brother” Adeni.

Inspire provided the following details on Harithi’s death: “While fighting in Abyan, his vehicle was struck by a missile from an American drone. Nothing remained from him except small pieces of flesh scattered around. That was the death Abu Ali waited for.”

The Jamestown Foundation identified the June 3rd strike as that which killed al-Harithi and al Wa’eli. And on June 9th 2011, the Yemeni Defence Ministry announced that al Waili (also known as Waeli) and Adeni were killed “in ongoing operations by the Yemeni army against the organization in Abyan province.”

Two weeks earlier, President Obama’s chief counter terrorism adviser John Brennan had spoken by phone with Yemen’s President Saleh, where: “He affirmed the commitment of the United States to stand with the Yemeni government and people as they… combat the security threat from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula.”

In May 2012, Newsweek reported on a JSOC operation that appears to match this event. Newsweek said: “In May 2011, the [US] military proposed killing 11 AQAP operatives at once, by far the largest request since it stepped up operations in Yemen. The Arab Spring’s turmoil had spread to the country, and al Qaeda was moving quickly to take advantage of the chaos. Gen. James Mattis, who heads U.S. Central Command, warned darkly of an emerging new terror hub in the Horn of Africa. Obama and a few of his senior advisers, however, were wary of getting dragged into an internal conflict—or fueling a backlash—by targeting people who were not focused on striking the United States. Obama and his aides reduced the target list to four people, all of whom were eliminated.”

However Daniel Klaidman reported that the decision to kill a large number of AQAP targets was not taken until 6pm Washington time on June 11th, and that “a few days later all of them were eliminated.” If correct, that indicates either that the June 3rd strike on Zinjibar occurred between June 12-15th, or that another unreported strike at that time killed a number of senior AQAP figures.

Due to the nature of both CIA and US military involvement in Yemen, and the lack of official acknowledgement by the CIA for their involvement, Airwars grades this event as “declared” due to the comments made by US government sources to media, in lieu of public reporting on CIA actions.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–8

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • AQAP operatives Ali Abudullah Naji al Harithi (left) and Ammar Abadah Nasser al Wa'eli, killed in a US military strike on Zinjibar, June 3rd 20117 (via Inspire)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Zinjibar (زنجبار‎), Abyan province, for which the coordinates are: 13.129059, 45.380422. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

However, anonymous US officials told ABC News a US military drone ultimately fired the lethal missile but that US jets were nearby but did not release weapons.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–8

Sources (12) [ collapse]